Assessment of physician responses to abnormal results of bone densitometry studies.

P. A. Economides, V. G. Kaklamani, I. Karavas, G. I. Papaioannou, S. Supran, R. D. Mirel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: To assess how physicians who have ordered bone densitometry studies respond to abnormal results. METHODS: We conducted a retrospective review of cases from physicians affiliated with a community teaching hospital. The study sample consisted of 142 female patients with abnormal bone mineral density (BMD) who had been referred by 50 physicians (internists or gynecologists). A questionnaire was completed for each patient, providing data about further investigations, treatment interventions, and frequency of referral to a specialist in bone diseases. RESULTS: Of the patients diagnosed with osteoporosis on the basis of BMD studies, 20.4% had no further investigations, and 27.8% underwent only mammography. Of all the patients with osteoporosis, 10.6% received no therapy (calcium and vitamin D excluded). The majority of all patients (71.8%) received a combination of calcium and vitamin D. The most common treatment modality was hormone replacement therapy. The second most common treatment strategy was bisphosphonates. The percentage of all referrals to specialists in metabolic bone diseases was low--11.3% in the patients of internists and 14.5% in the patients of gynecologists. CONCLUSION: In this study, the information provided by bone densitometry did not affect management in a substantial percentage of patients. A considerable percentage of patients underwent no further investigations to rule out secondary causes of osteoporosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)351-356
Number of pages6
JournalEndocrine practice : official journal of the American College of Endocrinology and the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology


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